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Many times when writers sit down at their desk or in front of their journals or blank computer screens, there’s a pressure to produce something wonderful. There’s an invisible weight that sits on the shoulders, that presses on the mind, daring you to attempt to create…it just dares you to prove it wrong, to prove that you can overcome that first hurdle and start writing.
However, that pressure just doesn’t lay on the minds of those who write for work or the fun of it – it also heavily rests on the minds and shoulders of students. Continue reading
Marilyn Johnson was enthralled by the remarkable lives that were marching out of this world–so she sought out the best obits in the English language and the people who spent their lives writing about the dead. She surveyed the darkest corners of Internet chat rooms, and made a pilgrimage to London to savor the most caustic and literate obits of all. Now she leads us on a compelling journey into the cult and culture behind the obituary page and the unusual lives we don’t quite appreciate until they’re gone.
(Synopsis from Harper Perennial edition; Cover image from Goodreads.com)
I’m sure if someone had seen me walking around with a book whose full title reads The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries, they might have been a little confused, and possibly a little concerned. However, after reading Marilyn Johnson‘s Lives in Ruins in November, I found myself wanting to read more of her work. (My review can be found here.) So, to achieve this goal, I used a gift card from my “baby” brother from Christmas to order books, including The Dead Beat. Continue reading
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.
(Story synopsis from Ballantine Books edition; Cover image from Goodreads.com)
(My first book review post of 2016!)
I recently (yesterday) finished another book on my TBR list. As I’m sure you already know based on the title of this post, I just read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I had heard many great things about this novel, and when I posted on Instagram a picture of the book there were numerous responses from others saying how much they enjoyed this novel. I’m not going to say something that may not sit well with those people…I thought this book was okay. Continue reading